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Bart Layton's American Animals

Festival Predictions

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Bart Layton’s American Animals

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Bart Layton’s American Animals

He couldn’t have wished for a better narrative for the roll out of his non-fiction feature debut back in 2012. The Imposter was selected for Sundance’s World Cinema Documentary Competition where it won over critical acclaim for its overt stylization, made nearly 1 million at the U.S box office, landed several nominations British Independent Film Awards and Cinema Eye Honors. Bart Layton then took the curious direction of fiction film and workshopped American Animals at the Sundance Labs in 2015, and from there lassoed Blake Jenner, Barry Keoghan, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd and the enigmatic Udo Kier for a shoot in Charlotte this past February. This summer, he attended the Sundance Institute and Skywalker Sound Announce Composers, Directors for 2017 Music and Sound Design Labs – which allow him to bring some symphonic characteristics to what will be another unfathomable tale of deception under the fun guise of moviemaking.

Gist: This tells the unbelievable but mostly true story of four young men who mistook their lives for a movie and attempted one of the most audacious art heists in US history. The film will take the thrill of the heist genre and turn it inside out, blurring the line between truth and fiction in a wild story of money, movies and the search for meaning.

Production Co./Producers: Katherine Butler, Poppy Dixon, Dimitri Doganis, Derrin Schlesinger, Mary Jane Skalski.

Prediction: U.S. Dramatic Competition.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic). Sierra/Affinity (international)


Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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